There was a time not too long ago when the Legacy Retreat® was the first time we were meeting families.
There was also a time not too long ago when as much as we wanted to stay connected and continue to serve each and every family after Legacy Retreats®, we were so limited… we could send an email or text from time to time, we could pray for them, but there was really a sense of sadness when we put them on the bus and watched them drive away because we didn’t have a lot more to offer them. But now… we have Hope@Home™ Weekends to offer them if they haven’t already participated in one. Many families we have already met and formed powerful friendships with from their Hope@Home Weekend™. We also have an event every November where we all get to gather together and connect online. We have a National Legacy Day™ every May to encourage IoH families and the whole world to live intentionally and make the most of each day. And WE HAVE GROUPS! We have Hope@Home™ Groups every month. Did you know right now we have 14 active groups and we are adding more in the next few months? There is a group for literally everyone… including you. You can join a group as a participant and you can volunteer to serve as a host or facilitator.
We also have Hope Hubs™ – a new local on-site group option for families living in the D.C. area. These families will get the opportunity to connect monthly starting April 23rd!
It’s so exciting that God has provided so many options for us to offer families. It’s not unlike the early church. When the disciples were planting some of the very first ministries and churches, they were given some clear instructions on how to do community.
1 Peter teaches that God can use difficulties to strengthen Christians and their witness. Knowing this can bring hope. Read 1 Peter to discover how faith, refined by suffering, can help you see the Lord more clearly. It gives valuable advice for holding firm in difficult times. The apostle Peter saw that increasing hardship and persecution had scattered believers, which spread their witness but caused some to wonder if God had abandoned them. Peter wrote to encourage them, offering them hope and meaning in the midst of their suffering.
In 1 Peter 4:8-11, it says:
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”
It has been such a joy to watch each of you do this here in Orlando this weekend. You have loved deeply! You have offered hospitality to these families by opening your arms and hearts. You have carried things and burdens. You have spoken the very words of God. You have served with the strength that God provides. And we will not stop giving Him the glory and praise!
But it doesn’t end today. Continue to point families and each other to Jesus. There are so many tangible invitations! Join a Hope@Home™ Group. Friday mornings are the highlight of my entire week when I gather with some of you to worship and grow together. WE do this every Friday! Email Allie Jones and tell her you want to help with a Hope@Home™ Group! She will help you find the best fit. If you live near D.C. and want to help with Hope Hubs™, talk to Tessa Martinson. And put May 21 on your calendar for National Legacy Day™ and look forward to signing up to make your own Legacy Video™!
Jill Thompson is Inheritance of Hope’s Resources Director. She originally shared this devotional with the Orlando Legacy Retreat® team in March 2022.